Hoover Color Films
Earliest Color Movie Shot at the White House Discovered
President Herbert Hoover and his wife, Lou, watching the final game of the 1929 World Series. (Chicago History Museum/Getty Images)


Herbert Hoover may have been one of the least glamorous presidents in American history, but a new discovery tips the scale a little in his direction, thanks to his wife, Lou.

An archivist at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library recently discovered that some of First Lady’s home movies from the family’s time in Washington could actually be the earliest known color movies shot at the White House.

It had been assumed that all of the family’s home movies were shot in black and white. But upon closer inspection of the film rolls, seven of them were found to have been shot in the early Kodacolor format, which was first released in 1928, the year Hoover was elected. According to the library, “On the surface, [Kodacolor] appears as black-and-white film with lines. But when projected through special filtered lenses, the color embedded in the film is restored.”

The archivist who made the discovery has also theorized that President Calvin Coolidge, Hoover’s predecessor, may have also shot Kodacolor home movies of his time in office. None have yet to surface, however.

Watch excerpts from the color home movies below. On March 29, the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library will release all seven in full.